BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
It was a strong performance from the Rangers goaltender, who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension on Wednesday.
Left winger Rick Nash, center Brad Richards and left winger Mats Zuccarello scored for New York, which moved above .500 with a record of 15-14.
Center Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for Buffalo (6-21-2). Goalie Ryan Miller had 28 saves.
Nash opened the scoring with a spectacular goal late in the first period.
The Rangers quickly broke out of their zone with a long pass from defenseman Ryan McDonagh, which was tipped by center Derek Stepan at center ice to Nash. Nash received the puck along the left wall and raced past Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers before beating Miller with a pretty deke to his forehand. It was Nash's fifth goal of the year.
Buffalo's best opportunity to tie the score came with just under 13 minutes remaining when center Cody Hodgson stripped McDonagh of the puck and went in on a partial breakaway. Lundqvist stopped Hodgson's backhand attempt with his right pad, and Hodgson tripped Nash seconds later for a New York power play, leading to the Rangers' second goal.
Brad Richards gave New York a 2-0 lead 8:29 into the third period on the ensuing power play with his wrist shot from the right circle.
Buffalo had another partial breakaway by captain Steve Ott moments later, but Lundqvist stayed with Ott and stopped his wrist shot.
Lundqvist's most impressive save was an acrobatic stop with less than eight minutes remaining. Ott's wrist shot was redirected toward the net by Richards, and the Rangers goalie made a highlight-reel stop with his right arm to deflect the puck over the net before going to the ice.
Zuccarello gave the Rangers a three-goal cushion with his fifth goal of the season with 5:13 remaining.
Ennis ended Lundqvist's shutout with 2:06 remaining on his fifth goal of the year.
NOTES: The Sabres announced that C Mikhail Grigorenko would be loaned to the Russian men's national junior team to compete in the 2014 World Junior Championship. Grigorenko will join Sabres D Nikita Zadorov -- who returned to his junior team, the London Knights, in late November -- on the Russian squad. ... Grigorenko, D Brayden McNabb and C Brian Flynn were scratched for the Sabres. McNabb was recalled from AHL Rochester prior to the game. ... The Rangers scratched RW Derek Dorsett and D Justin Falk. ... The teams met for the second of three times this season. New York won 2-0 at Madison Square Garden on Halloween.